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Why on earth do we stay with nasty abusive men?

(130 Posts)
Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:53:47

.... I would like to know from anyone who had been in an abusive relationship, what do you think:

1) made you attracted to this man in the first place?

2) when you knew he was abusive why did you stay?

Why am I asking this?

Because I am from the outside world a smart woman but inside my home I have for the last few years been putting up with an emotionally and physically abusive man and I am annoyed with myself I didn’t do something about it earlier.

I would just like to share stories and support/ gain support from others in this situation.


Sisterlove Sun 22-Apr-18 22:06:36

I know someone in your situation. I'm frustrated she won't leave after some of the beatings she's described to me.

She's financially independent. They don't have kids together.

I speak to her every couple of days since she told me about it and I want her to leave.

I had nightmares with what I heard and that's her life.

What's stopping you from leaving? I want to understand more about DV victims.

2018Anon Sun 22-Apr-18 22:06:42

1) physical attraction and the fact he seemed a bit different to other guys, he was rather quiet and lacking in confidence
2) my desperate love for him made me blind to his behaviour but then it was fear of the unknown, then after that it was fear of not being able to cope on my own with DC
I did end things eventually after 16 years but I look back on my life with him and what I put up with and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.
You can change things.

gearandloathing Sun 22-Apr-18 22:10:14

I think part of it may be an unwillingness to face the reality that we 'backed the wrong horse. ' Especially as they can be the perfect man in the beginning to reel you in, very tempting to believe that's who they really are and not see /admit the truth.

Sally2791 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:17:50

1- initially seemed very attentive (bit under mummy's thumb) keen to progress relationship quickly
2- I made excuse after excuse in my head. Also was told it was my fault. Had blanked out many things which are still coming back to me. Was told several times by him that I wouldn't find anyone better

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:20:35

Thanks for your replies ladies

Mine is....

1) I was 28 when I met him, fed up of dating and being let down, wanting to settle down with “Mr Right” and attracted to his good looks, his settled position (nice family/ stable good job etc)

2) the strange behaviour from him came quickly but I tried to put it out my mind (telling me what I should and shouldn’t wear/ saying I was disgusting for having dated an Asian man in my past etc) I just kept telling myself all his good points, I wanted to be married, I wanted to have a child.

Before you know it you are miserable and putting up with more and more nasty controlling ways, this leads to physical abuse and strange, cruel behaviour (in my case making me write notes about my behaviour/ slapping my face when I didn’t answer)

I knew these things were wrong and terrible but now I had a child and I still wanted the “family dream”. I was commited.
I’ve found it hard to leave because I didn’t want to lose my dream, even though it became a living nightmare.

I’m so sorry sister love your friend is going through a terrible time. She must not have a child with this man (like I have) he will get worse and worse. Please ask her to seek advice from Women’s Aid or her local Domestic Abuse organisation.

Problem is (like me) you begin to believe you’re to blame as they make you feel that way and also that you shouldn’t tell anyone. This means they’re winning!

Good luck and hope she will be ok x

Jeanhatchet Sun 22-Apr-18 22:21:39

From the experts

Get on a Freedom Programme if you can. It makes it all make sense.

Don't blame yourself at all. This is a carefully orchestrated "game" of power and control for him. He enjoys it. He enjoyed targeting you and grooming you and now keeping you.

Don't feel rushed or pressured to do anything. Just find out. Xx

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:25:02

Hi Sally

Two things I totally agree and indentify with what you said:

1) keen to progress relationship quickly (I moved in with my husband to his house 3 months into dating him) he would tell me a lot how lucky he was he met me!

2) I’ve always been told “it’s my fault”


Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:27:32

gearandloathing- totally agree with you. X

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:28:14

Jeanhatchet- thanks so much for this. I will look into doing the freedom programme in my area x

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:31:30

Thanks so much for you reply 2018Anon

I’m glad your abusive relationship is definitely in the past now. I do understand that when you love someone you can become blind to bad behaviour as you desperately want it to work x

Gingernutsandtea Sun 22-Apr-18 22:34:18

Because to every one else they often come across as very kind, caring, trustworthy and basically an all round decent person.
As many others see them as like able, you can feel as if you're the one with the problem, and think there's something wrong with you, when they're telling you about all your supposed 'faults'. After all, every one else 'gets on well' with them, they'll drum into you.

It's a very true saying that you don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

pudding21 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:38:43

1) made you attracted to this man in the first place? I was 17, he was 24. He was cool and cocky and the man about town. He showed signs early on but most of the time we had fun. Over the years things got worse, he became more and more abusive as his mental health deteriorated. I had times even in the final years where I was happy. I just wanted an easy life and would have stayed with him, but he began to suffocate me and I wasn't me anymore. I have left for 14 months now, and it has been tough but the right decision.

2) when you knew he was abusive why did you stay? I stayed because I couldn't see a way out. It was only really by talking to people I realised it was abusive, because before I hardly told anyone the issues we had had. I was too ashamed, because I knew what they would say. But he was abusive and he fucked with my mind and he would be nice, and then a shit, and then nice again. It was like cat and mouse. I'm smart, confident (in most ways, some ways my confidence is shit), fun (I think) yet I let a man suck the life out of me for years. I wasn't that happy when we had kids, but as soon as I was a mum I was the happiest I had ever been even though our relationship wasn't great (I thought at the time it was normal). Once the kids got a little bit older, my world opened up again, he hated it and tried to control me more. We had huge arguments about me wanting to join a gym, even though he did hobbies too. He still can't see it, he told me again tonight by text to remember it is what I wanted. i didn't want it, he was enough for me, if only he treated me better.

I am free (ish, he still controls me as much as I let him, it is a learning process), i have dated other people, I am living again. And its fun.

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:49:22

Gingernutsandtea- many thanks for replying.

Totally agree with your comment, after a while you believe it’s you are the one with the problem.

My husband comes across as normal, likeable and because he has a high profile job people look up to him. Behind closed doors he’s drummed into me that I’ve not been good enough, made mistakes, ruined him/ ruined our relationship. Generally just criticised me for everything and anything! X

Petitepamplemousse Sun 22-Apr-18 22:51:41

Because I was in love, and didn’t think I’d find anyone else to love me. Split up ten months ago, still sometimes doubt I’ll find anyone else (who I love back) who will love me. He’s under my skin, still.

Petitepamplemousse Sun 22-Apr-18 22:55:21

And sorry I didn’t answer 1 and 2 separately but it was because for me both questions have the same answer. Just.. I loved him. Oh my god, did I love him. He didn’t deserve it, although sometimes he did. He was lovely, and then beyond awful, and then lovely. Such is the abusive pattern. But I still wake in the night from happy dreams that we are back together and he is being good to me. I still wake crying from that, 10 months on. It’s completely pathetic but I just loved him a lot, and that’s the only explanation I can give.

Mine was, for what it’s worth, mainly emotionally sbusive (sporadically) and violent on the one occasion, after which I left.

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:55:30

pudding21- many thanks for your reply and I’m so sorry you’ve had such a tough time. I certainly know what you mean when you say “I wasn’t me anymore”

I am only just at the beginning of finding that out again and it’s scary. I admire your courage and determination to leave and make a better life, it really sounds like you made the best decision.

It’s so sad he’s still trying to make you feel bad though. I too would stay with my husband if I felt he treated me better. We all deserve that! x

cestlavielife Sun 22-Apr-18 22:56:33

Because they are nice at times or seem marvellous to outside world.. . Because you mistakenly think they good fathers etc.
Oneday what are you going to do about it?
When are you going to leave ?
Don't be a victim be a survivor.

fabulousfrumpyfeet Sun 22-Apr-18 22:56:51

For me it was partly being so completely unaware, I've always had decent men in my life, so when the weird behaviour started I assumed he just needed a bit of reassurance, was a bit stressed etc. I had no idea someone could actually behave that way without turning around later and realising they'd been a twat.

yousignup Sun 22-Apr-18 22:59:37

1) I was lonely.
2) I was lonely.

DH is a drunk. I am not. I am intelligent, well-qualified and have a really responsible job.
I never knew I was lonely until I realised this.

Oneday5 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:59:42

Petitepamplemousse- I’m so sorry, your post has really touched me. It’s heartbreaking breaking up with anyone, especially when even now you still love him. But you were never loved in the true sense of the word “love”. He was cruel to you, I have been through the same. My love for him died at the point he hit my head against the kitchen wall and then wasn’t even remorseful. I’m so sorry you still wake up thinking of him. You deserve so much better than this man! x

yousignup Sun 22-Apr-18 23:01:25

And because everyone thinks he is easy going and jolly and a nice drunk. They don't see what a nasty abusive drunk he is.

elephantoverthehill Sun 22-Apr-18 23:03:55

I think the problem is that we are conditioned. We are conditioned to understand that you have to work hard to make a relationship work. Unfortunately it seems that quite a few men did not get that memo.

Sisterlove Sun 22-Apr-18 23:04:46

The terrible thing us that the abuser is my BIL (DHs brother). I'm sickened by his violence towards her.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but I keep telling her she needs to protect her DC from being any part of it.

I've never been abused in this way, but it gets me that she would not get her child away from it all. The school have contacted her about her DC crying at school because of the DV and still that's not enough to hit home.

Sorry, I don't want to judge her. I do keep those views to myself, but it troubles me greatly.

Social Services have intervened and I don't get how she gives a damn about him.

PrizeOik Sun 22-Apr-18 23:05:59

He thought of me what my parents and various abusers had thought of me. I was 19 and tbh if someone thought well of me, I thought they must be a bit stupid.

I also, at least partly due to trauma, was desperate for a baby and to have a normal settled family life. I think that may have been the biggest factor for me.

He twisted a lot of my really appalling abuse history on to me and greatly supported the idea that I was lucky to have a partner because I was filth/ damaged goods. I spent years trying to convince him I was a "good girl". He'd occasionally be happy with me and those times were highly addictive.

Tbh I just wanted to be loved. It's that sad and that simple. I so badly wanted a happy, safe life and for a long time I believed he was the closest I'd get to that.

One day I woke up and realised I was wasting my life with a man who didn't even like me. Twelve years of my life that I'll never get back.

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